Natives of the Rocket City all know a thing or two about the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Home of Space Camp and Aviation Challenge. Also home of the iconic Saturn V Rocket and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center Bus Tours.
But there are a few spots that especially appeal to the young, and young at heart. We asked Dr. Kay Taylor, Director of Education, and Ginny Langbehn, Marketing Director at the USSRC for their favorite lesser-known parts of the museum. Even if you’ve been before, this list of Secret Spots at the USSRC are sure to be places your kids will love!
Miss Baker’s Grave
You’ve probably heard of Miss Baker, the squirrel monkey the U.S. successfully sent to space that returned alive and became an international sensation. She went on to live a long and happy life before dying in 1989, but her final resting place in located right outside the entrance to the main Museum. Just leave her a banana on the headstone if you visit.
Beware the “K Rex”
You don’t need an admission ticket for this one either! Inside the USSRC gift shop look for the giant colorful Jurassic display. This T-rex built from K’Nex was constructed in 2012, and the Guinness Book of World Records cited this as the largest freestanding K’Nex structure on Earth. It’s SUPER cool!
A Lunar Souvenir
Search for the moon rock in the Davidson Center behind the Apollo 12 capsule. This hand-sized rock was collected during the Apollo 12 mission and astronaut Alan Bean cheekily claims the rock is “his favorite.”
A Family Affair
Did you know there are Father and Son space suits in the Davidson Center? The space suits of Dr. Owen Garriott and his son Richard Garriott-De Cayeaux, the only America father-son astronaut pair, are on display. It gives a whole new meaning to chip off the old block.
Look for this one in the Davidson Center for Space Exploration – when the Skylab oxygen tank fell to Earth —and on Australia — during Skylab’s 1979 de-orbit, the United States was fined by Australia for “littering.” The fine has been resolved and the U.S. and Australia are still friends. That’s one hefty piece of junk!
A Special Diary
Located in the main Museum, kids can see Wernher von Braun’s notebook up close. He sketched these visions of space flight when only 15 years old. Inspiring, right?
Before you go hunt down all the spots listed here, be sure to stop by the Huntsville Madison County Visitor Center and pick up some admission coupons!
Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.